Kelly/Shorts Stadium, the home of Central Michigan University football, opened in 1972. The stadium was dedicated on Nov. 4, 1972, when the Chippewas defeated Illinois State, 28-21, before a Homecoming throng of nearly 17,000.
The first collegiate football game on Astroturf in Michigan was played less than 13 months after construction began on the $2.2 million project.
The stadium underwent a major expansion following the 1997 season as part of a $28 million project that included the Indoor Athletic Complex.
A total of 10,000 seats were added and the old press box was replaced by a two-tiered press box. The lower deck features nine guest suites and the upper deck serves the media from radio, TV and newspaper. Coaches booths and game operations also are on this level.
The locker room at the north end of the stadium also was expanded during this project.
The facility was originally named Perry Shorts Stadium in honor of R. Perry Shorts, a 1900 graduate of Central Michigan, who went on to a distinguished banking career in Saginaw and was a generous donor to CMU.
In June of 1983, the CMU Board of Trustees voted to rename the stadium Kelly/Shorts Stadium in honor of Kenneth (Bill) Kelly, who coached the Chippewa football team to a 91-58-2 record from 1951 to 1966.
Central Michigan has replaced the original artificial surface three times, the latest in the summer of 2004 when the highly popular FieldTurf was installed.
In 1986, a $140,000 scoreboard complete with a full-color message center was erected at the south end of the stadium. In addition, Kelly/Shorts also received a new auxiliary scoreboard in the north end zone.
A $550,000 renovation to the locker room complex was completed prior to the start of the 1996 season. Larger locker rooms for both teams, new meeting rooms, a laundry room and a refurbished equipment room were among the improvements.
Copyright by project one hundred nineteen
APPROVAL EXPECTED AT CENTRAL MICHIGAN
December 9, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Mt. Pleasant, Mich. - Central Michigan University officials have approved a hotel that will
connect to new luxury suites built in Kelly/Shorts Stadium, the Morning Sun reported.
The hotel would be built on the east side of Kelly/Shorts Stadium where the outdoor practice
facility is located, according to the CMU Board of Trustees.
The project, as currently designed, would include a national franchise hotel with approximately
150 rooms; indoor and outdoor pools; exercise facilities; business center; restaurant and a meeting or conference space, the newspaper said.
Part of the project also includes the addition of stadium suites, with new restrooms and concession spaces for the east side of the stadium. The suites would be connected to the hotel by a planned glass atrium.
This is the second attempt by the university to add a hotel to the campus. The first came in 2008 with the proposed construction of a six-story Holiday Inn and conference center that was to be located in the Center for Applied Research and Technology (CART), previously known as University Park.
The Morning Sun said this was met with strong opposition from Mt. Pleasant's LaBelle Management, which already operates the Comfort Inn hotel and conference center in the technology park. The company argued that the CMU Board of Trustees, in the late 1980s, gave LaBelle exclusivity rights and guaranteed the company that no other hotel would be located in the CART area.
CMU officials have denied ever giving exclusivity rights to the company.